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Tuesday April 24, 2001

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CD Review: Nikka Costa

Headline Photo

Nikka Costa

Everybody Got their Something

Virgin Records

Grade: B+

Part Macy Gray, part Aretha Franklin, musician Nikka Costa could very well be erected to the hierarchy of soul music - provided she invests in a new sound board technician.

Her voice is clear and her range is wide. The style of her music is a throwback to the likes of Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield - with the modernized electronic sound of European artists like Dee Lyte and Eve.

The album's title track, "Everybody Got their Something" is a bonafide hit. The groovy bass intro is reminiscent of any 1970s Sly and the Family Stone hit. Costa even brings a brass section to the track, making the song worthy of a No. 1 spot.

Her ballads such as "Nothing" and "Corners of My Mind" are reminiscent of artists like Billy Holiday and Fiona Apple. Although more mellow than the rest, these songs are sung in perfection and are a nice addition to the album as a whole.

Although talent exists at the heart of this album, it tends to be clouded by the sloppy digital remastering of some songs.

Rather than mixing background sounds in tempo with the music, the remixing acts almost independently of the song. The opening track, "Like a Feather," would be good except it's ruined by mid-song remixing of electric guitars and beeping sounds.

It's really a shame that such sloppy mixing has ruined a near-perfect record. Unlike today's influx of sugar-coated pop and misogynistic rap, Nikka Costa is an up-and-coming artist worthy of recognition. Ignoring the album's flaws, the lyrics are honest and poignant and the music raw and alive.